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The Museum of London is working with game designer Adam Clarke, Dragnoz and map builders Blockworks to bring audiences a recreation of the Great Fire 1666 of London, England through Mojang's Minecraft. They released a teaser trailer for the upcoming event.
According to the article from Engadget, the Museum of London's exhibit will take place across three Minecraft maps. The first map will give viewers a look at London before the fire hit, starting July 29th on Friday, next week. This will be followed by a map showcasing London going up in flames and presumably the third map will contain the aftermath of the event.
The Engadget article explains that the maps will contain audio clips scattered throughout to give users an opportunity to relive some of the history of the great fire of London. There's also the option to go up to and interact with various historical figures recreated in Minecraft to help further explain what happened and what caused the fire.
They also explain that the second map, which is due to release in September, will afford users an opportunity to explore the London area while the catastrophe is taking place. London will be going up in flames and the city falling into ruin. They state that there will be mini-games present within the Minecraft map that includes moments where users will have to attempt to save lives or try to put out the flames.
The third map will be released in February. They mention that it will contain elements to rebuild London based on the architectural city plans that were put together by John Evelyn, Christopher Wren and a few other city builders. It sounds like the third map will be a typical Minecraft-style mission.
Technically, it would be interesting to see how some users engage with the third map since it directly correlates to what many gamers find interesting about Minecraft; the building.
Being able to build, craft and construct London after the terrible fallout from the great fire opens the game up to both historical intrigue and gameplay intrigue. For instance, will there be fail states for not rebuilding London the way Wren and Evelyn envisioned? Will there be rules or regulations based on what materials and architectural structures are used? How much of London can be recreated?
The Museum of London is hoping to spark interest in the subject matter beyond what's taught in classrooms.
Minecraft is no stranger to the classroom. Microsoft has been very diligent in attempting to infiltrate the education sector with Minecraft for quite some time, and with the Museum of London taking them up on that offer using a three-part edutainment approach to the great fire of London, it's possible that they could have a real winner on their hands as far as bridging video games and education together for today's generation of students.